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    Edgewood focused on effort and defense

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    Edgewood returns three starters from last season but the Warriors have their hands full with a challenging conference schedule.

    The Warriors finished last season with a 6-16 record overall but won just one game in the Chagrin Valley Conference Lake Division.

    “I feel our team will give 100-percent effort in every game we play in this year,” said third-year Edgewood coach Randy Vencill. “These girls work hard and never give up and do whatever is asked of them. We are in a tough conference and it hasn’t been easy and it won’t be easy, but our effort will be there.”

    Vencill will hang his hat on defense to remain competitive, especially within the league.

    “Our team strength is going to have to be our defense,” he said. “Each girl will be accountable to do her part in stopping the girl in front of her. We plan on rotating a lot of different girls and mixing it up on defense.”

    Sophomore Kaci Kanicki, a 5-foot-7 shooting guard, returns after leading the Warriors in scoring with 13.8 points per game last season. She earned first-team all-conference and first-team all-county honors.

    “She’s a dynamic player that can do it all, defend, score it, pass it,” Vencill said. “She’s a coach’s dream player. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.”

    Senior Sidney Melaragno, a 5-foot-3 point guard, also returns to the starting lineup after averaging 8.2 points per game last season. She earned second-team all-conference and all-county honors.

    “Sid is a great all-around player,” Vencill said. “She is a sharpshooter and will be asked to handle the point guard role, which I know she will do awesome at.”

    Senior Heather Farr, a 5-foot-6 small forward, is Edgewood’s other returning starter. She scored 4.2 points per game last season.

    “Heather is a team leader and does all the dirty work,” Vencill said. “Whatever is needed to help the team to win, she is your girl.”

    Sophomores Johanna Annick and Maddie Bailes are projected to round out the starting lineup.

    Annick is a 5-foot-7 forward and Bailes is a 5-foot-7 power forward.

    “Jo is a great player that will be an inside presence for us this year. She will defend the rim and assist with the scoring efforts. I’m so glad to have her,” Vencill said. “Maddie is a great leader and has great court vision. She is a great defender and gets after it on both ends of the court.”

    Seniors Jasmine Steighner and Braxtin Adams, junior Maria Ciesicki, sophomore Tori Skaruppa and freshman McKenna Vencill will provide depth for the Warriors.

    Steighner is a 5-foot-8 center while Adams is a 5-foot-6 center.

    “Jasmine is going to help us with her inside presence. She has the best basketball IQ of anyone on the team. She is my coach on the floor,” Vencill said. “Braxtin is all-out effort. She looks for ways to improve every time she plays and always gives 110-percent.”

    Ciesicki is a 5-foot-8 forward, Skaruppa is a 5-foot-8 power forward and Vencill is a 5-foot-2 point guard.

    “Maria is another inside presence that brings great rebounding and defense inside. She is a great leader and does all the little things to help her team,” Coach Vencill said. “Tori gives 100-percent. I would compare her to Dennis Rodman on the boards. She has a great motor and makes things happen. McKenna is a young player still learning the game but has great potential. We will expect her to handle the ball and do some sharp shooting this year.”

    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.
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